Thomas was going a million miles an hour. For years, he worked 12 to 14 hour days, asserting that whatever he was working on was too crucial to the company's success to slow down. Thomas's behavior taught his leadership team that he was available 24/7, so that's what they expected and emulated. Then Thomas had a stroke, putting both his life and the company's future at risk.
It's so tempting to think that being a good leader means working constantly - and it's what the business world rewards. Amare (love-based) leaders are committed to lead in a sustainable way that supports both well-being now and long-term growth.
- What's your belief about how much to work?
- Are you too busy to think, really think?
- As a leader, do you take good care of yourself?
- What might happen if you slowed down 10%?
5 Steps to Lead Better by Slowing Down the Amare Way
- Find the payoffs. Make a mental list of what happens from working so much. Pay particular attention to what you get to avoid - family time, a personal life, derision from others, etc. Careful, you may need support to dive deep here.
- Picture a healthy rhythm. In detail, describe what your ideal week or month would look like. Notice what you prioritize, what you feel obliged to do, how you incorporate time to refuel. Now schedule it, even if it's three months out.
- Be willing to be wrong. Don't beat yourself up if you're a workaholic. Instead, just be willing to identify and question the beliefs that sustain that pattern and prevent slowing down. Then, with forgiveness, consider if those beliefs really serve you and what the alternatives might be.
- Waste some time. Do something that you might otherwise consider unproductive. Write a haiku, plant some herbs, call an old friend. See how it affects your sense of what matters.
- Stop, just stop now. Experiment right now by taking a one minute break. Just sit and breathe. No need to control your thoughts or anything else. Notice how you feel when done. Set a timer and repeat 3x/day (that's only three minutes total!).
Slowing down will not only make you a more effective leader over the long term, it will set the tone for how the company operates and what it really values. And it just may dramatically improve your quality of life.